RELEASED: November 16th 2018 DEVELOPED BY: Game Freak PUBLISHED BY: The Pokémon Company & Nintendo
Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu / Eevee! are remakes of the first generation of Pokémon games, specifically the special edition Pokémon: Yellow, where, instead of getting to choose from a Bulbasaur, Charmander or Squirtle as your starter Pokémon at the beginning of your journey, you are instead given a Pikachu (or Eevee, depending on the version you buy). Similarly, rather than being a straight-up remake, Let’s Go! meshes in some of the gameplay mechanics of the popular Pokémon GO! mobile game, to create a new-user friendly variant of the classic Pokémon games that hoped to capitalise on GO!‘s huge success.
RELEASED: May 10th 2019 DIRECTED BY: Rob Letterman WRITTEN BY: Dan Hernandez, Benji Samit, Derek Connolly, Nicole Perlman & Rob Letterman PRODUCED BY: Mary Parent, Cale Boyter, Hidenaga Katakami & Don McGowan MUSIC BY: Henry Jackman STARRING: Ryan Reynolds, Justice Smith, Kathryn Newton, Suki Waterhouse, Omar Chaparro, Chris Geere, Rita Ora, Diplo, Ken Watanabe & Bill Nighy
Twenty-three years after the release of Pokémon Red and Green (/Blue, to western audiences), Pokémon has finally hit our screens as a live-action movie. And unlike the majority of video-game adaptations, it’s pretty darn good!
The film follows former aspiring Pokémon trainer Tim Goodman (Smith), as he is forced to venture into Rime City after his father, an ace detective, dies on a case. There, he meets his father’s amnesiac Pokémon partner, Pikachu (Reynolds), who for some unknown reason, Tim can understand. Pikachu is adamant that Tim’s father is actually alive, and so the pair set off the solve the cases of Pikachu’s amnesia and Tim’s dad’s disappearance, both of which are somehow connected to the mysterious genetically engineered Pokémon Mewtwo.
When it comes to making a live-action Pokémon movie, there’s one thing that the creators had to get right – the Pokémon. Which, fortunately, they do. Rime City is rife with Pocket Monsters ranging from those we first met in Red and Blue back in the late nineties, all the way up to appearances from newer creatures who debuted in the Sun and Moon entries just a few years ago.
Fan favourites like Charizard and Greninja get their time in the spotlight, while a wealth of other Pokémon such as Treecko, Pidgeotto and Rattata proliferate the background. The world truly feels alive, and you can totally buy into the harmonious relationship between humans and Pokémon, and how that all works.
Set in the new region of Alola, Ultra Sun sees a young kid from Kanto move to the Hawaii-esque paradise, where they are given their first Pokémon and sent to test him or herself in the island trials. As the player treks across the four magical islands, meeting various friends, rivals and Pokémon along the way, a sinister beast tries to plunge the world into darkness, while a new species of Pokémon known as ‘Ultra Beasts’ make their presence known from other dimensions.
There is a lot of new stuff going on this game, and as someone who’s now played through six out of the seven (soon to be eight) Pokémon regions, I can say the set-up of Alola is a welcome refresher. Gone are the Pokémon gyms and linear paths, gone are the cumbersome HMs, gone are the various previous generations starter Pokémon’s exclusivity.
Instead, Alola treats you to a whole new area to explore in any way you want, with a horde of different Pokémon from across the seven generations, all presented yet again in fabulous 3D format.
I’ve been a bit quiet over the past week, and while I will return to my readthrough of Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers series, at the moment, I’m feeling a bit of an Avengers burnout, due to the fact the cinema I work at has been crazy hectic with all the people turning out to watch Endgame.
So, as a bit of a change of pace, and due to the upcoming release of Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, I’m turning my attention back to video-games – as my busy week drove me to do something I’ve been wanting to do for a while…
I bought a Nintendo Switch.
I’ve been wanting to try out the Switch for some time. I’ve played a couple of rounds of Mario Kart on my step-nephew’s console at a family get-together, but that was the extent of my experience with it. However, after being paid, I traded in a few things and picked up a second-hand console for a very reasonable price. Very very reasonable, in fact, as it looks like it’s basically brand new – apart from the fact that the box looked like it had been mauled by a feral child.
So, with the Switch now in-hand, I figured it’s time to return to that age-old debate of which company’s putting out the best console? Once again, I’ll be looking at it from a ‘layman’s perspective’, as someone (as I said in part I) who “doesn’t know all the technical mumbo-jumbo or gamer-speak”.
As we edge closer to Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, I’ve taken on another Pokémon game. My anticipation for that movie is high, I won’t lie.
RELEASED: October 12th 2013 DEVELOPED BY: Game Freak PUBLISHED BY: Nintendo & The Pokémon Company
Also, on the basis of ‘not lying’, I should also say that this is actually the fourth Pokémon game I’ve tackled since trading in for my Nintendo 3DS. The first game I played was Omega Ruby. Then I played Ultra Sun. I also dabbled with the re-release of Yellow, before the first trailer for Detective Pikachu urged me to explore the Kalos region in Pokémon X.
As such, there were a few facets of the Pokémon game series introduced in X that I had already experienced in Omega Ruby and Ultra Sun, and so playing those games first may have affected my overall opinion of X.
I’ve never really considered myself a big gamer. When I was younger, I enjoyed playing Pokémon and Super Mario on the various Nintendo handhelds, and for a time I had a PlayStation 1 and 2, but they didn’t get a whole lot of use outside of games like Spider-Man and Star Wars: Battlefront 2, respectively.
During my teenage years, me and my sister had a Wii – a console generally looked down on at the time by those who did in fact consider themselves to be gamers. At university, I started branching out, playing the various Batman: Arkham and Tomb Raider reboot games on my computer, but by the time Arkham Knight rolled around, my system had become too outdated to play the ‘big’ video-games on.
But after a certain Battlefront (2015) trailer revealed that Lando Calrissian was finally coming to the game, I realised that it was probably worth buying one of the next gen consoles, to finally be able to experience Battlefront, finish the Arkham series and play the follow-up Tomb Raider game, amongst others.
I picked up an Xbox One for a decent price (this link isn’t necessarily about the Xbox, so much as a lovely homeless man I met when going to get it), and have enjoyed the console for just under three years. However, with the release of games like God of War and Marvel’s Spider-Man on the PlayStation this year, I realised it might be time to switch console, which is exactly what I did this past weekend.
Having now experienced both consoles, I decided to look at which one I truly prefer, as someone who enjoys video-games, but doesn’t know all the technical mumbo-jumbo or gamerspeak.
RELEASED: November 28th 2014 DEVELOPED BY: Game Freak PUBLISHED BY: The Pokémon Company
It’s been a while since I played a Pokémon game. When I was a kid, I started on Pokémon: Yellow – I had the special Pikachu Game Boy Colour and everything. I instantly fell in love with the game, having already become a huge fan of the anime series. Later, I would move on to Pokémon:Crystal, which I also thought was an amazing game. By this point, I was also a bit more savvy about how everything worked. Although I did have the chance to play Pokemon: Ruby, I missed the chance to actually own it myself – instead, I got the remake of Generation I, Pokémon: LeafGreen. Some years later, I would get Pokémon: Pearl on my Nintendo DS. I thought Pearl, which debuted in Generation IV, was a great game, but it would soon be outdone by the Generation II remakes, Pokémon: Heart Gold and Soul Silver. In my mind, that was the apex of Pokémon games, and after playing through them, I fell out of sync with the series, moving on to other things.
More recently, however, after getting back in to Pokémon GO! I decided I wanted to revist the core games. I bought myself a second-hand Nintendo 3DS XL and Pokémon: Omega Ruby alongside it, curious as to how the games had progressed since my youth.